The T-Mobile Pulse works that now-familiar touchscreen phone minimalist look, with its 3.5-inch, HVGA (320 x 480 pixels) 16 million-colour capacitive touchscreen display dominating the front panel.
The screen has a similar resolution to other Android handsets, including the HTC Hero, Magic and Samsung i7500 Galaxy, but the extra screen space does provide a fraction more fingertip room and viewing space.
In many functions, an onboard accelerometer auto-rotates the screen between landscape and portrait orientation as the phone's moved.
Accommodating that screen, but with no physical slide-out keyboard, the 116(h) x 62.5(w) x 13.5(h)mm bodywork has a large footprint, however it's slim enough not to feel too chunky.
It's a well-constructed device. It may lack the finesse of the Apple iPhone, and has a hint of an older Pocket PC device about it, but it's quite a tidy design.
Like most touch phones, its single sheet front panel attracts fingerprints, but its glossy, curvy rear plastic panel – which has a subtle carbon fibre pattern on it – is comfortable in the hand.
Below the screen, the control panel revolves around a central trackball controller, a typical Android supplement to touchscreen operation. Vertical Call and End buttons bookend the controls, the Call key bringing up a virtual numberpad with calling options displayed underneath.
A Menu button opens up a box grid of menu options on the screen appropriate to the app or menu you're using, and with a long press you can pull up a virtual keyboard for typing.
On the other side of the trackball, there's a Home/Back key that'll take you back straight to the home screen with a long press, or back a step at a time with a quick jab.
Around the bodywork, there's a camera button and volume controls, a power/lock button, plus a slot for holding MicroSD cards. A 2GB MicroSD is supplied with the Pulse, but higher capacity cards, currently up to 16GB, are supported.
Socketry is concentrated on top of the phone. The Pulse uses a microUSB port for charging and data connectivity, while there's a separate socket for headphones next to it.
This is for a 2.5mm jack rather than the standard 3.5mm one you get on most headphones; T-Mobile does, however, include a 2.5mm-to-3.5mm adaptor in the package – not quite as good as having one on the body, obviously, but at least there's an in-box solution supplied.